Faust Essay: Is Dr. Faust a Christian Tragedy?


The play Dr. Faust was written by a well-known English dramatist Marlowe. It tells a tragic story of life and death of a person born in a lower class family who decides to sell one’s soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge, power, and higher position in life. The play has features of classical tragedy and Christian morality, and it seems to be offering a mere representation of basic Christian values, yet there is more to its interpretation than a simple allusion to the principles of orthodox Christianity (Westlund, 1963).

The action takes place in the explicitly Christian dimension where there is the God performing typical functions for the Christian understanding, such as judging the world and making decisions as to the final destination of every soul, that is, heaven or hell. In the play, there can be found both devils and angels in their typical representation. While the devils are tempting people into the sin, angels aiding them to stick to the virtue of God.

Thus, the story of Faustus can be regarded as a Christian tragedy since the protagonist goes through the negative Christian pattern. Faust cannot resist the temptation, and eventually, one is damned to hell. In addition to that, the principal sin of Faust is his vast ambition and pride, which presents a sharp contrast to the humility, one of the main Christian virtues. The protagonist allows these traits control his life, hence, it seems fair for his soul to be captured by Lucifer.

In conclusion, the play Dr. Faust indeed is a Christian tragedy. It demonstrates a lack of person’s moral fortitude in the face of temptation, as well as the overly emphasized desire for knowledge that contradicts to a faith to God. If analyzed from the Orthodox point of view, the play describes the basis of both sin and virtue.


Marlowe, C. (1994). Dr. Faustus. New York: Dover.
Mizener, A. (1943). The Tragedy of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. College English, 5(2), 70. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/370963
Westlund, J. (1963). The Orthodox Christian Framework of Marlowe’s Faustus. Studies In English Literature, 1500-1900, 3(2), 191. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/449293

Read our Faust essay once again if you need to write a properly formatted, referenced and argumented paper. The paper was written to analyze the play Dr. Faust written by Marlowe. If you are assigned to complete a similar paper, take advantage of the arguments we used, but express them in your own words supporting with citations from the text. We hope, you will receive a great mark:)

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